Motorcycle accidents can cause serious brain injuries, even if the victim was wearing a helmet. These injuries often have devastating, long-term effects that involve expensive treatment, which can place a huge financial burden on you and your loved one. If you or a loved one is struggling with a brain injury after a motorcycle accident, a Birmingham AL motorcycle injury lawyer can help you understand your options.
What Is a Brain Injury?
During a motorcycle accident, your head is subjected to a variety of forces. It may strike the ground, get whipped violently back and forth, or get hit by debris or another vehicle. These forces can cause serious damage to your skull, brain, and other structures inside your head. While there are many types of brain injuries, here are some of the most common:
- Concussion: A seemingly mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), it can cause headaches, vision issues, mood changes, and other issues.
- Contusion: Bruising that occurs on your brain.
- Coup-contrecoup injuries: Your brain forcefully bounces back and forth off the ridged inside of your skull.
- Hemorrhage and hematoma: Bleeding that occurs within your head, it can be life-threatening and typically requires emergency surgery.
- Penetrating injuries: Something strikes your head, penetrates your skull, and pierces your brain.
During the hours or days after the crash, damage to the brain can become more severe. Trauma from the impact of the accident can cause the brain to swell, which could lead to catastrophic damage if not promptly treated.
Symptoms of Brain Injury After Motorcycle Accident
Sometimes, traumatic brain injury after a motorcycle is easy to diagnose. However, many brain injury victims suffer in silence with undiagnosed conditions. You may have a traumatic brain injury if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms after a motorcycle accident:
- Headache or head pain
- Dizzy spells
- Confusion or disorientation
- Mood swings or personality changes
- Memory problems or amnesia
- Decreased concentration and attention
- Ringing in your years
- Visual disturbances
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Depression and anxiety
- Fatigue or disrupted sleep
If you experience these symptoms, you should immediately see your doctor. Tell them about your accident, your symptoms, and your reasons for concern. They may schedule you for diagnostic testing, such as an MRI or CT scan.
However, don’t be surprised if your imaging studies don’t show significant damage. Many brain injuries, even those that are life-changing, can be caused by micro-trauma that’s hard to identify — especially if the imaging equipment is older or less sophisticated.
If you lost consciousness after the accident, have bruising around your eyes, feel disoriented, or have other medical concerns, seek medical care as soon as possible. You could have serious internal injuries that could become life-threatening if left untreated.
Long-Term Effects and Recovery
Brain injuries can cause long-term impairments that affect you for years, including memory loss, seizures, mood changes, or loss of motor skills.
Recovery is also a long process. The brain is a complex organ, and can take months or even years to heal. And since treating TBI often requires hospitalization and rehab, you may be faced with overwhelming medical bills. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you examine your options for obtaining compensation for your losses.
What Is My Brain Injury Claim Worth?
When you work with Petro Accident & Injury Attorneys, we can help you calculate your damages, which may be extensive. In one study, the National Foundation of Brain Research estimated that the medical costs for a TBI survivor are an average of $151,000 — and that doesn’t include your lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Depending on your situation, you may receive compensation for:
- Medical bills, including hospitalizations and rehabilitation
- Medical devices
- Lost income and earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment, if you can no longer do beloved hobbies
- Punitive damages, when applicable
Preventing Brain Injuries
Medical research clearly shows that wearing a helmet can significantly reduce your chances of suffering a brain injury after a motorcycle accident. In fact, one study suggests that wearing a helmet can drop this risk by as much as 85 percent. That’s why motorcycles helmets are mandatory in Alabama.
If you decide not to wear a motorcycle helmet, you may face more than a TBI. Under Alabama’s contributory negligence laws, if you’re even 1% at fault for your motorcycle accident, you may lose your right to compensation. It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to use non-compliance with helmet laws to dispute injury claims, hoping that you’ll accept an unfair settlement or give up on your case completely.
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
After a motorcycle accident, it’s important to act quickly. First, call 911 and report the accident. The police will come to the scene and document the circumstances surrounding the crash. You should also ask the 911 operator to send emergency medical personnel for anyone who is injured. If you’re able, you should also take pictures of the crash scene and document the names of anyone who witnessed the crash. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Speak to an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one are struggling with a serious brain injury after a motorcycle accident, you need expert legal guidance to ensure you obtain compensation. You deserve answers, accountability, and a fair settlement. At Petro Accident & Injury Attorneys, we help families with the complex personal injury claims. Contact us today to learn more about our services.